USC is moving on in the Pac-10 Tournament, but will be without head coach Kevin O’Neill. Following an altercation with an Arizona booster on Thursday night, O’Neill was suspend by USC and will not be with the team for the remainder of the Pac-10 Tournament. The booster, who reportedly has a history with O’Neill, was spotted by the USC head coach outside a hotel following the Trojan’s win over Cal on Thursday evening. There’s been no word on what sparked the argument, but the two engaged in a verbal altercation.
O’Neill released a statement on Friday apologizing for his behavior and for letting his team down.
“I want to apologize to my team, our university and our fans for my involvement last night in an incident with a fan,” O’Neill said in a statement Friday.
The Trojans are on the NCAA Tournament bubble and likely need to win the Pac-10 Tournament Championship to make it into the Big Dance. USC took the first step on Thursday, easily defeating Cal in the first quarterfinal matchup. On Friday, the test gets tougher as the Trojans take on top-seeded Arizona in the first of two semifinals.
Assistant coach Bob Cantu will handle the coaching duties for the remainder of the tournament. O’Neill said he plans to head home and watch the games from the comfort of the couch with his wife. The Trojans and Wildcats hit the court on Friday night at 6 p.m. on FSN.
For more from Los Angeles, check out the rest of our Pac-10 Tournament StoryStream.